Tunisia: Main Sights
Only ruins remain of ancient Carthage, dating back as far as 814BC, a Phoenician city rebuilt by the Romans. Sited 11 miles north of Tunis, the ruins can be explored on foot or a horse-drawn carriage from Carthage Hannibal station. Highlights are the huge Roman amphitheatre, the Carthage Museum, the Christian Basilica of St Cyprian and the Antonine Baths, once the largest in Roman Africa.
The 1,000 year-old medina is a UNESCO World Heritage site filled with markets, alleys, private homes and old palaces, dominated by the Great Mosque (8am to noon daily) dating back to the 8th century. Tourists may visit only parts of the Great Mosque. The Great Souk is the main market.
Bardo Museum, Tunis
Sited in a Husseinite palace, the Bardo houses a wealth of art and relics from Phoenician, Roman, Greek, Islamic and early Christian history including a world-famous collection of Roman mosaics.
Sidi Bou Said
Perched clifftop 12 miles from Tunis, Sidi Bou Said remains a centre for Sufism and the dervish tradition. Atmospheric and visually appealing, the village inspired artists such as Paul Klee. The white and lapis blue colour scheme throughout adds to the sense of Tunisian and Mediterranean meeting point.
Cap Bon Peninsula
Beautiful coastal area with a forgiving Mediterranean climate and home to tourist resorts of Hammamet and Nabeul. Away from the tourist zones, Cap Bon still continues its rich agricultural tradition. The excavated Punic town of Kerkouane is found on the Cap Bon cliffs.
Impressive Roman ruins 42 miles from Hammamet. One of Tunisia’s most scenic and important Roman sites.
Ichkeul National Park
More mountainous and greener than the south, nature or hiking holidays in Tunisia should take in the 23 square miles of Ichkeul with its scenery, migrating bird population and even water buffalo. Best October to early March.
The best-preserved Roman city in North Africa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the Capitol temple and Lycinian Baths.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kairouan dates to 670AD and remains the fourth holiest city in Islam. The Great Mosque (8am-2pm Sat- Thurs, non-Muslims courtyard only) is in the centre of the ancient medina and one of the oldest places of prayer in the Islamic world.
Just outside modern Sbeitla lie the ruins of Roman Sufetula with its impressive Roman forum and Capitol temple.
The former Roman town of Thysdrus was a major trade staging point and home to what is arguably Tunisia’s most spectacular ancient building, the 238AD Roman Colosseum holding 30,000.
The Berber troglodyte village made famous by Star Wars. Three of the largest cave house complexes are now hotels.
Vast, beautiful salt lake and flats changing with the seasons.
The most famous of the southern oases, known for its 3000 palm trees and its dates.
Berber museum, botanical garden and zoo, and the Planet Oasis spectacle set on the Saharan sands.